Best Whiteboard Alternative: Factors Before Buying & Ways for Effective Use in Class

Teachers are always looking for new ways to promote student achievement when it comes to education today. Interactive whiteboards are a fantastic way to engage students while providing meaningful instruction.

Depending upon the needs of your students, your budget, and your ability to incorporate technology into the classroom, there are several factors to consider when choosing a classroom whiteboard.

Continue reading to find out more information on classroom whiteboard alternatives for teachers.

Here’s the deal:

After reviewing multiple products, I determined that the Samsung Flip Digital Flipchart is the best alternative to using a standard whiteboard in the classroom. It offers a high level of clarity and maximum possibilities for teaching and learning. 

The Top 5 Best Whiteboard Alternatives

I taught using a chalkboard my first year teaching, and later, I upgraded to a projector, then a Smartboard, and presently a Viewboard. When it comes to instruction in the classroom today, whiteboard animation and whiteboard software have become increasingly helpful.

1. Samsung Flip Digital Flipchart – Best Overall

Samsung Flip Digital Flipchart

With a touch screen and various whiteboard displays, the Samsung Flip has it all.

Four people can use this interactive board simultaneously, making it a valuable resource for those who co-teach and collaborate with others. Even with a remote team, team collaboration can participate in video conferencing, planning, and sharing ideas.

The screen displays range from 55-85” and can rotate, hence the name Samsung Flip. Therefore you can utilize this board from a vertical or horizontal position.

Built-in speakers and connections allow users to screen mirror, use a pen or finger as a writing tool, and brush mode even allows you to paint!

Pros

  • Compatible with USB, Wifi or HDMI
  • Variety of size options
  • Network storage

Cons

  • It does not include educational Apps

Takeaway

The Samsung Flip is number one on the list of best whiteboard alternatives because it offers a vast selection of tools, and multiple people can interact with the board at one time.

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2. Vibe All-In-One Computer Interactive Whiteboard – Top Of The Line

Vibe All-In-One Computer Interactive Whiteboard

The Vibe Interactive Whiteboard offers much more than your traditional dry erase board. The 55” UHD screen and magnetic stylus provide clarity and functionality when presenting or annotating for your students.

The Vibe Interactive Whiteboard offers Vibe cloud storage, a component that allows you to save real-time and even upload later to another storage medium or device. Compatible with many apps, you can easily sync with other devices and even add a camera for video conferencing. 

Pros

  • Compatible with many apps
  • Wireless screencast available
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • More costly than other models

Takeaway

This is a modern web whiteboard substitute that will help you present, share, and communicate with your students and other educators, whether remotely or face-to-face in the classroom.

The Vibe interactive online whiteboard can be mounted to a wall or used on a portable stand.  A wireless screencasting feature is available, and since up to four users can work simultaneously, the Vibe makes collaboration on Google Meet or Zoom as easy as possible.

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3. SMART Interactive Whiteboard – Most Popular

SMART Interactive Whiteboard

The SMART products and interactive boards have been increasingly popular in education for teaching, learning, and professional development. The SMART Interactive Whiteboard has made the list because it is widely used and offers many specific features, especially for teachers.

This glass whiteboard allows multiple touchpoints, so many users can operate the board simultaneously. Designed especially for classrooms, SMART Notebook software will enable teachers to create lessons, use virtual manipulatives, display images, write, and more.

Pros

  • Includes many educational tools
  • Flat-panel eliminates glare 
  • Smart Notebook Software 

Cons

  • Wall mount not included

Takeaway

The Smartboard Virtual Whiteboard has a massive display up to 75” across. The downside of this product is that it is bulkier in size than other digital whiteboards. However, overall it is still an excellent choice for educators because it has many kid-friendly features and tools.

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4. Hivista SP02 Interactive Whiteboard – Best Budget-Friendly Option

Hivista SP02 Interactive Whiteboard

The Hivista SP02 system is a neat option because it is portable and low-cost. This web whiteboard alternative can be used at home, in an office, or in a classroom setting.

You need to purchase the system, including a cable and interactive pen. Once you download the software and connect the system to your computer and projector, you can write virtually on the wall, door, or any other surface!

The downside of this purchase is that it does not include a projector or a display board.

This system is ideal for someone who needs to set up a display anywhere, anytime quickly. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Portable 
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • It does not come with a projector or screen

Takeaway

The Hivista SP02 Interactive Whiteboard is a low-budget option for someone who needs to project or write out information for a presentation but might be limited on resources or space. You can also use the projection feature to write with the digital pen without WIFI. 

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5. Quartet Infinity Glass Whiteboard – Best for Beginners

Quartet Infinity Glass Whiteboard

The Quartet Infinity Glass Whiteboard made the list because it is an entirely no-tech option for those without access to power, internet, or funding for an interactive board.

This magnetic board is made from tempered glass and functions like a dry erase board. It comes in black or white, and you can purchase markers, magnets, a magnetic eraser, and a board cleaner to use with the board.

Ultimately, this board allows you to write directly on it without using a computer. There are no apps or interactive features except that you can simply write, post, or display information manually or using magnets. These boards are inexpensive and easy to use.

You can even use whiteboard paint to change the color of your board to match the look of your classroom.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • No technology requirements
  • Modern appearance

Cons

  •  Not digital or interactive 

Takeaway

If you are looking for a modern dry-erase board with a streamlined appearance for a low price, Quartet Infinity may be the whiteboard alternative you are looking for.  It does not have any computer-related apps, storage, or resources, but it is a handy whiteboard for primary use.

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Factors To Consider When Buying An Interactive Whiteboard

student writing on interactive whiteboard

Digital whiteboards come with various tools and features, making their versatility almost limitless. Depending upon your goals, whether to engage student learners, communicate remotely, or utilize applications such as Microsoft whiteboard, there is a lot to consider.

Think about your curriculum, standards, and instructional models as an educator.

Do you present information with visuals, such as a digital presentation or videos? Is it essential for you to have students come to the board to solve problems or answer questions?

The tools offered by interactive digital software are helpful in allowing educators to find creative ways to enhance student learning, provide differentiation for various students, and promote participation in class from all learners. 

Features

When buying an interactive whiteboard, consider your needs.
  • Applications like Whiteboard Fox and Web Whiteboard can help you host a presentation in real-time.
  • Google Jamboard helps you add text, images, and more to your existing documents.
  • Whiteboard animation videos are also engaging tools to promote student engagement.
  • Products options include porcelain whiteboards or glass whiteboards.

Price

Depending upon the features you are looking for,  prices vary from product to product.

Overall, you can expect the product with the most technological supports, such as writing on a digital sticky note, white-board paint, or video conferencing, to come at a higher price.

If you simply need a way to post information or hand-write word problems, text, or drawings, then a simple dry erase board will serve your needs for a much lower cost.

Check out the Top Ten Smartboards reviewed to see even more digital whiteboard details, information, and options. 

What Is The Difference Between a Whiteboard and an Interactive Whiteboard?

When many people say whiteboard, they are thinking about a dry-erase board. We know dry erase boards can be helpful tools. They are certainly more relevant than chalkboards; however, traditional non-tech dry erase whiteboards are being replaced in this digital age.

Interactive “whiteboards” are digital and require electricity, computer, and internet connectivity to operate thoroughly.

The next time you hear someone mention a whiteboard, be sure to consider whether or not they are talking about a virtual, interactive board or simply a dry-erase board. 

What Do You Need To Use An Interactive Whiteboard?

For most interactive whiteboards, you need reliable internet and a power source. Some older models require a projector, separate camera, microphone, or speaker. Many of the newer digital whiteboards include these features and work as an extension of the computer monitor.

Depending on the model you use, you may need software such as Microsoft whiteboard, whiteboard animation software, or another type of whiteboard app. Microsoft whiteboard alternatives might include Google Meet or Zoom for virtual conferencing and meetings.

What Are Ways To Use an Interactive Whiteboard For Teaching?

Some of the most fun lessons that get students engaged involve digital whiteboards. Teachers can create shapes, change colors, utilize a variety of images and icons, such as smiley faces, and more to make learning fun.

I like to use shapes as virtual manipulatives for solving math problems. Students can drag and drop icons to count and represent numbers on the board for the entire class to see.

Another benefit is the large display. Students can come up to the board to read text, identify parts of speech or make corrections on writing examples. Even students in the back of the room can see what I am writing on a white board.

This video shows students interacting with a digital whiteboard in their Florida classroom:

The Bottom Line

It is time to put down your dry erase marker and consider trying an interactive whiteboard in your classroom.  After reviewing various products, the best whiteboard alternative is the Samsung Flip.

The Samsung Flip has a high-definition screen, can rotate from a vertical to a horizontal position, and even has remarkable features such as paint and web animation.

This whiteboard substitute allows your students to participate in their own learning experiences by interacting with words, numbers, maps, and more!

Engaged students who are excited about learning make more academic gains, typically are more focused and on-task, and will ultimately enjoy school.

Last Updated on January 21, 2022 by Emily

Emily/ author of the article

Emily is an active mother of two and a dedicated elementary school teacher. She believes the latest technology has made a huge impact on the quality of early learning and has worked hard to upgrade her classroom and her own children’s learning experience through technology.
She created this blog to make it easier for other teachers to take advantage of some of the best devices out there to upgrade their classrooms without having to do the research themselves. She loves to hear your tech-based problems and share her extensive experience :)

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